Reshaping the Future of Healthcare Services at King Abdullah Centre for Oncology & Liver Diseases

By Dr. Samar Al Homoud, Consultant, Colorectal Surgeon, Associate professor, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is widely recognised as having a fast-growing population in the region with high incidence of lifestyle related illnesses and increasing rate of cancer. All these changes present certain challenges to the healthcare sector. To overcome such challenges, the Saudi Vision 2030 has developed a comprehensive plan to improve access to healthcare facilities which will be adopted by all main health sectors including King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC).

KFSH&RC is the national referral centre for oncology, cardiovascular diseases, genetic diseases, neuroscience and organ transplantation providing a full range of tertiary as well as secondary and primary healthcare services to the population of Saudi Arabia and other regional countries.

This preeminent medical facility has now boosted its infrastructure with the opening of the new King Abdullah Centre for Oncology & Liver Diseases (KACO&LD). This expansion takes the KFSH&RC facility to the future of clinical care services with new technology incorporated into the build including SMART rooms, Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) and tech that aids in hand hygiene.

KACO&LD is a 300-bed facility spread over 23,183 sq m with 21 floors, consisting of more than 80 outpatient clinics for surgery, oncology, bone marrow & organ transplants, blood diseases, liver diseases, clinical services for physical therapy, a blood bank and laboratories and clinics for many other specialties. It is built with state of-the-art technology, infusing cutting-edge healthcare systems, innovations and advanced equipment in radiology, radiation therapy, operating rooms, laboratories and pharmacies to provide our patients with world-class diagnostic techniques, procedures and treatment facilities.

Following are some examples:

  • SMART technology to enhance patient care and improve operational efficiency. The technologies deployed and the interaction between systems will help create an environment that engages patients in their own wellbeing and provides valuable information to support continuous improvements in delivering patient care.
  • Real-Time Locating System (RTLS): Provides information on where patients and devices are located in real time, while also monitoring hand hygiene compliance and staff response times to patient calls. This will enable the Hospital to track patient flow while also enabling workflow automation.
  • Wireless mobile devices: Provides real time communication between clinical staff, patients, support services and secondary alarming from medical devices, which enables the sharing of the right information at the right time with the right person.
  • Nurse call system: Provides for patient safety by sending alerts of patient needs to the Nursing Department and enables workflow automation to increase operational efficiency.
  • iBus: This software application is used for automating aggregation and interpretation of data flowing between medical devices and external systems.

Amongst the Smart Room Components in use at KACO&LD are the Bedside Medical Device Integration (BMDI) which provides a pathway to transmit clinical data directly from in-patient room devices into the patient’s medical record allowing for updated medical records and reduction in errors; Vitals Link which automatically sends patients’ vital sign readings to PowerChart; Patient infotainment that serves as a gateway for patients to request hospital services, learn to manage their medical condition and provide feedback on how they feel, It encourages patients to engage in their care plans and become active participants in their recovery; and Anaesthesia module that connects the anaesthesia machine inside operating rooms to automatically document all readings; amongst others.

KACO&LD is a state-of-the-art project in construction, design, and technology that provides patients with a new concept in medical care - the privilege of the One-Stop Shop service. This new concept is a service methodology that provides multiple services to the patient in one central location. For example, if a certain patient has more than one appointment with several clinics or need laboratory investigations, he or she can manage all his appointments in just one place thereby enhancing services provided and decreasing the waiting time of patients.

KACO&LD is thus reshaping the future of providing quality healthcare in our region and reinforcing the National Transformation Program strategies to meet the increasing demands of the health sector in the coming years.